Islamabad -  The Indus River System Authority on Friday further reduced water releases from Tarbella and Mangla reservoirs by 15000 cusecs.

In view of annual canal closure starting from December 25, water releases have been reduced from Tarbela and Mangla dams with immediate effect, IRSA spokesman Khalid Rana said in an interaction with the media. The reduction will have a negative impact on the hydel power generation and will decrease the ratio of hydroelectricity, which is the cheapest energy source in the national energy mix.

Rana said that that Tarbela outflows had been reduced to 8000 cusecs from 18000 cusecs while Mangla outflows to 10000 cusecs from 15000 cusecs. It will further be reduced to 5000 cusecs from December 25, he said.

The IRSA spokesperson said that Sindh has informed the authority that from December 25, the province will reduce its indent to 10,000 cusecs from 20,000 cusecs. Similarly, Punjab has also reduced its indent to 25000 cusecs from 40,000 cusecs immediately, he said. Balochistan reduced its intends to 2500 cusecs from 5000 cusecs, while Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa has not make any change to its intend and will draw the same 3000 cusecs.

The decision of reduction in releases from both the reservoirs was taken as  the IRSA, after consultation with provinces, had announced the annual closure for maintenance and de-silting during Rabi season 2017-18 which is scheduled to be started from December 26 and will continue till January 30.

As per the canal closure plan, Punjab’s lower Jhelum, Rasul Qadirabad Link, Upper Chenab canal will remain closed from December 26 to January 12,  Qadirabad Baloki Link, Jhang Branch, Central Bari Doab canals from December 27 to January 13 and Lower Bari Doab, Baloki, Sulemanki Link from December  29 to January 15. Similarly, Upper Pakpattan canal, and Eastern Siddiqia canal will remain closed from December 30 to January 16, Upper Jhelum canal from January 12 to January 29 and Lower Chenab canal (excluding Jhang branch), Upper Bahwal canal from January 13 to January 30. Similarly, Jhang Branch canal to remain closed from December 27 to January 13, while Upper Bahawal will remain closed from January 13 to January 30.

Thal and Lower Bahawal canals will be closed from January 13 till January 30, Trimmu canal and Trimmu Sidhnai will remain closed from January 10 to January 27, while SMB Link canal and Sidhnai canal from January 11 to January 28. Lower Pakpattan canal from January 12 to January 29, and Lower Bahawal from January 13 to January 30.

Punjnad canal will stay closed from January 5 to January 22 and Taunsa canals from December 31 to January 17. Kotri barrage will remain closed from December 26 to January 11 and Sukkur barrage from January 6 to January 24. Canals in Balochistan will also remain closed, while Chashma Right Bank canal will be closed from January 1 to January 31.

On Friday, the flows in River Indus at Tarbela were 18500 cusecs and outflows 18000 cusecs, flows in Kabul at Nowshera were 5500 cusecs, inflows in Jhelum at Mangla were 6700 cusecs and outflows were 10000 cusecs.

Against the minimum operating level of 1380 feet, Tarbela’s present level is 1435.56 feet. The maximum conservation level of the dam is 1550 feet. Similarly, the Mangla’s minimum operating level is 1040 feet and the maximum conservation level of Mangla is 1242 feet. Chashma’s present level is 644.20 feet against its minimum operating level of 637 feet and maximum conservation level of 649 feet.